Though mesquite beans haven’t become a staple of modern American diets, they were a major food source for indigenous communities in the Southwest and Mexico for thousands of years. The beans are harvested summer through early fall.
Location is important for practically any dining establishment. For Midpoint Café in Adrian, location is everything. The restaurant would likely not exist if
it wasn’t precisely 1,139 miles from Chicago and 1,139 miles from Los Angeles—the halfway point on storied Route 66.
Step beneath the top hat logo gracing the dormer over the front porch of Pendery’s World of Chiles and Spices in Fort Worth, close your eyes, and breathe deep: Intermingled fragrances from exotic lands flood your olfactories—perfumed Sri Lankan cinnamon; pungent Iranian cumin; sultry Jamaican allspice; smoky Spanish paprika; and chiles, lots and lots of chiles.
In broad daylight, the Silver Slipper is hardly a looker. The compact building 4 miles northeast of downtown Houston is about as long and wide as an eight-lane bowling alley—“indistinct Minimal Traditional,” according to The Handbook of Texas. Three days a week, it’s a bar, short-order eatery, and neighborhood hangout.
Saturday nights, however, the Silver Slipper transforms into something else.
When Mother Nature doles up a summer afternoon so hot you need oven mitts to handle the steering wheel of your car, smart Texans head to the nearest swimming hole.